Forum home Wildlife gardening

What to do with my toad!

Hi all
Earlier this year when removing an old shed from the bottom of the garden I came across a toad under the rubble. The kids decided we had to build him a pond, which is now finished (dug by myself and I'm quite proud of it!). However, while the digging was underway I didn't see Mr Toad again and assumed he'd wandered off to somewhere quieter, which was good as I didn't want to accidentally skewer him while digging.

I just had a bit of a shock as I was filling up a pot with compost at the other end of the garden and discovered him in the compost bag! Now i have no idea what to do with him. Despite the pond, everything in the garden is bone dry and i don't want to put him somewhere that will be too dry for him. The only thing I can think of is to put him back in the bag of compost (which is nice and damp) and move it somewhere near to the pond. I don't have a compost heap, but there is plenty of dead wood etc at the bottom of the garden where the pond it, though as I said everything is sooo dry!

Advice please!!! My kids are very attached to him (my son has named him Jeff 🤣)


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924
    They mostly live in damp shady spots, not ponds, so he'll find places in your garden if you have them.  :)
    A bundle of logs or similar, is ideal, so he'll make use of that dead wood if there's room to hide in it. They often hide under rocks and similar spots.
    A good idea is to dig a shallow hole somewhere in the shade, and then put an old pot over it, with a gap for him and his pals to access it. It's a good way to use old terracotta pots that have seen better days   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,035
    edited August 2022
    Jeff will be perfectly happy in the bag of damp compost as long as he can get in and out to go slug hunting at night. I would leave the bag where it is … he chose it as his home and moving it may change the temperature range and make it unsuitable for him. Toads only use ponds to spawn in during the spring, so he may not use it now, but a pond us the best thing you can have in your garden for wildlife and it will attract all sorts of creatures who will either be company for Jeff .., or he his lunch. Whichever … it’ll be great 👍 
    I’ve got a log pile in the garden … in this very dry spell I’ve chucked them occasional bucket of water over it just to keep the humidity up for the frogs, newts and others who spend a lot of their time there 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Jeff ( or Jennifer maybe ? ) will appreciate the Pond come Jan/Feb when it is time for mating/spawning but for the majority of the year he/she will prefer a nice damp and shady spot.  Leave in the compost bag (and ensure it stays damp enough ) and place near your new pond / wood pile in the hope that he/she will repay you next year with some Jefflings ;)
  • Thanks all! I've tucked Jeff (and his bag of compost) into the shady corner by the pond, which has plenty of cover and dead things to hide amongst, as well as being close to next door's compost heap. Plus many more slugs to munch on compared to where he was I hope. 

    I must say I'm impressed by his adventures, he made it across 80ft of garden, up some steps, across the decking and into the compost. So I reckon he/she (they???) is a survivor. Fingers crossed for more critters in spring🤞. So far we've had dragonflies and damselflies and the birds are enjoying the plentiful drinking water.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,458
    Move the bag of compost to somewhere that gets on sun and the toad will be fine.  It doesn't need a pond as they only need one for breeding.  If the bag gets too try the toad will move on.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,035
    Any plastic bag of compost in the sun would result in cooked toad in this area … plastic in the sun this morning was too hot to touch 🥵 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FireFire Posts: 17,323
    I agree; leave the bag where it is. Add a bit of water now and then.

    Why would you put a toad in the sun?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,035
    Maybe @KT53  is thinking of a different sort of toad @Fire ? 😉 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • B3B3 Posts: 26,433
    I think most creatures know what they need and it's best to leave them to it. I saw a black hairy caterpillar legging it (?)  across the lawn. By the time I'd found my phone to get a photo for ID he'd gone.  I could have helped him to where he didn't want to go. I'm reminded of the comedy sketches where a well meaning Samaritan deposits an elderly or blind lady on the wrong side of the zebra crossing.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,035
    I agree … if they’ve chosen a place to be, it’s because it meets their needs better than the rest of the garden. 👍 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

Sign In or Register to comment.